I wrote in the post where I showed you what I do with my empty diaper boxes that my life has seemed out of whack lately. Despite the fact I wasn’t doing anything extra I just couldn’t seem to find a good balance. I mentioned that to my husband and he told me that I was having to go back and do everything at least twice because my toddlers were undoing everything that I had just accomplished.
I got to thinking about that and he was right. Life would be so much easier if my kids would simply pick up after themselves. But why should they?
I was doing everything for them.
In my eyes I see little children. Babies that I want to hold and cuddle. Kisses all over and tight bear hugs. It’s easy to forget just how quickly they are growing up. My son is turning three next month and while he might not be able to wash a load of laundry just yet, he is old enough to clean his bedroom. What’s more, is that he should clean his own bedroom, I don’t need to raise a son that expects someone else to tidy up a house after him. My daughter will be two this year. Oh my goodness, can I just soak that bit of information in for a moment. Wow, okay so she is also growing up and I don’t want to raise a little girl that expects everything in life to be handed to her. I want my children to know that you have to work hard in life to get the things that you want. I want them to be able to strive for something, without giving up when situations seem unfair. I want them to be respectful of others, confident in their own abilities and I want them to be able to take care of themselves one day, when I won’t be able to tend to them. Yet, none of that will ever happen if they aren’t made to be responsible for something as they grow up in my care.
For those reasons, I decided to start incorporating chores in my house. Yes, my one year old and my two year old are doing chores now.
>Play & Pretend
We started taking everyday play and turning those moments into chores. You probably did this as a child when you played house. My son enjoys “sweeping the floors” and my daughter has started “washing the dishes” after her baby doll is done with them.
>Explore & Encourage
While I’m cleaning I give my children the option to help me. This past week my son vacuumed the rug for me. Sure, I had to go back and vacuum it again, which means it took twice as long to accomplish but the important thing was that he helped.
*note* avoid using phrases like “just let mommy do this right now”
>Lead & Love
You may know by now that most things are better when done in love, teaching your children how to do their chores is one of these sort of moments where love conquers all. Trying to do it on your own because it will be faster is equivalent to being selfish, you are taking that learning experience away from your child. Yes, it can be frustrating but remember, you are the teacher.
I attached two free chore charts for kids below. These are yours to download, free of subscription. Do not sell these. You can however come back and print as many copies as you like, as often as you like. I have left the fields blank for you to fill in with different chores as your child grows up in age.
My recommendation would be to include one to two chores that you do not think you child is capable of yet, that way you can use this as a teaching tool also.